Is EQ crucial to HR?


‘In an authentic sense, we have two minds: one that thinks, another that feels.’

                                                                                              – Daniel Goleman

Understanding the Context:

In his seminal work, ‘Emotional Intelligence,Daniel Goleman stated that ‘one of the fundamental things that hit us when we step onto something new is that we may be technically strong, but we won’t be able to proceed forward without managing people associated with it. And EQ ensures that we do know how to manage people. This should elicit an innate curiosity towards understanding EQ or is usually referred to as emotional quotient/intelligence. So, to formally define EQ, we need to visit back to the earliest decade of this 21st century, whereby a lot of research in this field was occurring. After much deliberation and simultaneous research within the psychological society, the Israeli psychological society came with a definition that still rings true to this date. EQ is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict[ii]. It helps us connect to our feelings, turn our intentions into actions, and ensure informed decisions regarding crucial aspects of our lives.

To better understand EQ, we need to delve deeper into its core aspects. Facets like self-management, self-awareness, social awareness & relationship management form the core aspect of EQ.


In the context of EQ, self-management refers to managing our own emotions. This practice develops a sense of cognitive thinking when we feel distressed. To put this its perspective, we can take the instance of the ventilation fallacy[iii]. This fallacy states that our usual coping mechanism of venting out sad emotions helps us navigate the situation. But it essentially is not true entirely. Instead, this prolongs the problem and makes the situation much worse because when we vent out of anger/frustration, it usually is our own emotions, not cognitive thinking.


Getting to know about our own emotions, feelings, attitudes, etc., helps us create awareness about ourselves which eventually demonstrates itself as a helping step to manage all those personal emotions.

Social awareness:

Social awareness develops a keen interest in knowing others and their emotions well enough to gauge their resulting actions. Emotions are contagious; so, by gauging the emotions of others, we can create new relations.


Finding or being aware of our passion/burning desire can motivate us internally. This mitigates the influence of extrinsic motivation explicitly. There are four sources for self-motivation, namely money, mating, momentum, and mastery.

Now, ever wondered why we started understanding better what EQ means in the current context. Because this allowed us to delve into the peripherals much better, by extrapolating this to its business context, we could quickly get around the topic, ‘EQ in HR,’ and justify the delivery of ideas that it needs.

What role does Emotional Quotient play in a Business?

An emotional quotient involves being perceptive of other people’s moods and having the competence to facilitate ameliorated performance based on that perceptive knowledge intuitively. This aspect of improved performance attracts its usage in the modern business world. The modern workplace is characterized by accessible communication, collaborative teamwork, and mutual respect.

This bears a significant impact on the self-development of the employees and their performance indicators. Practicing activities that support an EQ-based behavior illuminates positive effects that can be observed and measured by higher productivity. Its impact is visible in building positive relations and gaining employees’ emotional commitment. This strengthens organizational culture at a higher level, sharpens its resilience, and stretches its flexibility, eventually leading to a more significant competitive advantage in the market. Empathic communication channels between the top management board executives and lower-rung employees develop a cultural environment of ownership that bringsforth a sense of coordination and collaboration among the team members. This synergy stimulates employees’ creativity, which is essential in forming innovative responses to learning society’s increasingly complicated structure.

Does EQ play a role in the HR world?

EQ touches upon every aspect of human life, enabling humans to function with confidence, resilience, motivation, and empathy. HR leaders truly rely on EQ in particular, to inspire engagement, retention, and productivity. EQ is the backbone of a healthy work environment. This creates an environment of goals achievement, collaboration, and healthy team settings. Essentially, EQ connotations play a crucial role in ensuring a competitive workplace which is the need of the hour in today’s corporate world.

The next problem is how to engage the whole workspace under the EQ system through HR leadership capabilities. HR, a whole people-dependent sub-function in a business enterprise, essentially dominates the workspace etiquette to ensure a competitive and collaborative environment. Additionally, the HR managers could develop their adequacy regarding mental health capabilities to make each & every employee professionally competent physically and mentally. EQ also builds a solid interpersonal relationship network among the frontline employees, supervisors, and even executive members. This influences the performance metrics positively and develops a strong progressive corporate culture.

Moreover, having adequate hands-on experience in managing employees with EQ serves to differentiate between a high EQ manager and a high IQ manager. This leads us to be interested in the differences between EQ & IQ and determine which is more appropriate to the 21st-century business context.


‘When people go to work, they shouldn’t be leaving their minds and hearts at home.[vii]’

There aren’t many alternatives to having a strong EQ in today’s world. The business world appreciates such instances wherein EQ saves the day from an imminent crisis, and HR is well conscious enough to support the workplace with such EQ adequacy. The workplace sometimes comes off as a violent place to be concerned about, but that is where the human resource capabilities come into the picture. Building enough human competency through initiatives full of emotional connotations and not just depending upon physical ones will solve most of the difficulties an organization faces in this VUCA world. Delaying gratification, a huge factor in developing intense EQ can also be a better predictor of success than IQ. It’s like the marshmallow test[viii], wherein there are two options: choosing a marshmallow and consuming it or waiting for the right moment, delaying the attraction, and eating two marshmallows at the end of the day. Research shows that those respondents choosing the latter option were more likely to succeed in their careers.


  1. HR professionals must recognize the pivotal role emotional intelligence (EQ) plays in their work. By understanding and managing their emotions and those of others, they can build stronger relationships, boost employee engagement, and drive organizational success. This article sheds light on the importance of EQ in HR.

  2. I have found this blog as insightful article which emphasizes the crucial role of EQ in HR.This article highlights its impact on employee engagement, conflict resolution, and effective leadership within organizations.

  3. The value of EQ in HR cannot be overstated. HR courses that prioritize developing emotional intelligence skills can help future HR professionals become better equipped to handle the complexities of the workplace, ultimately leading to a more engaged and productive workforce.


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